Qatar has launched a review of its investments in London after the city’s transport authority this week banned the Gulf state’s tourism advertising on the capital’s buses, taxis and underground trains, the Financial Times reported on Saturday.
The newspaper said Transport for London’s (TfL) move was prompted by concerns about the World Cup host’s stance on LGBTQ rights and its treatment of migrant workers.
The FT quoted a person involved in the Qatar review as saying that TfL, which is run by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, contacted Q22, the body that oversees the World Cup and Qatar’s tourism board, this week to update them on the to inform ban.
The TfL ban “has been interpreted as a message from the mayor’s office that Qatari companies are not welcome in London,” the person was quoted as saying.
Qatar is one of the largest investors in London through its sovereign wealth fund.
The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) owns the Harrods department store, the Shard skyscraper and is part-owner of Canary Wharf. The Gulf state also owns the Savoy and Grosvenor House hotels, a 20% stake in Heathrow Airport and a 14% stake in Sainsbury’s SBRY.L, Britain’s second largest supermarket group.
A spokesman for TfL said that ahead of the World Cup it had given its advertising partners and brands “further guidance on the advertising that we think is likely to be acceptable to run during the tournament whilst ensuring football fans are not denied the opportunity to support.” their teams”.
“Each advertising campaign will continue to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.”
TfL said advertisements promoting travel to Qatar or tourism in Qatar or presenting Qatar as a desirable travel destination would not be considered acceptable.
The Qatar government communications office did not immediately respond to an email from Reuters requesting comment.
In the limelight as hosts of the World Cup, Qatar has defended itself against criticism, saying it is a welcoming country that does not discriminate against people and has denied allegations of abuse of workers. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.
https://www.independent.ie/news/qatar-reviewing-london-investments-after-city-bans-transport-ads-of-gulf-state-over-lgbtq-stance-42175429.html Qatar ‘reviews investment in London’ after city banned Gulf state’s transport adverts over LGBTQ attitudes